Usman Khawaja was dismissed within sight of another century as KL Rahul pulled off a spectacular catch in the second Test between Australia and India.
Up until that point, the Aussie opener had been solid in his 81 and far more positive than he had been in Nagpur.
Khawaja was building a solid partnership with Peter Handscomb when he smoked a reverse sweep through point that was a guaranteed four, but somehow Rahul – at full stretch – got a mitt to it and it stuck, to give Ravindra Jadeja his first wicket of the match.
AS IT HAPPENED: India v Australia second Test day one
READ MORE: Australia pulls trigger on wild team changes
READ MORE: Broad left red faced after brilliant England catch
Khawaja stood for a moment in disbelief before trudging off the ground.
“That is an absolute blinder – that’s come out of nowhere,” Ravi Shastri said in commentary.
Mark Waugh said those kinds of catches changed matches.
“That is an absolute game-changer that one, that’s a great catch … a reflex catch,” he told.
“It was hit really firmly by Usman Khawaja. He’s got it right out of the middle, it’s starting to tail away from Rahul, one-handed, that’s a beauty. Caught it behind him.
“That’s the sort of catch that can change the game.
“Just when we thought Australia was wrestling away India’s dominance, what a way to get it back. Khawaja will consider himself very unlucky there.”
Khawaja and Handscomb steadied the Aussie innings at a crucial moment in the Test.
Having earlier put on 50 for the first wicket, Australia lost Warner for 15, then Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith back-to-back.
Travis Head looked set to go big in his return to the side, before he too fell for 12, which brought Handscomb to the crease with the score languishing at 4-108.
But Khawaja and Handscomb got stuck in and added 59 when Khawaja was caught.
Speaking after stumps, Khawaja said his game plan for this innings was the same one from Nagpur.
“I got to bat for a little bit longer. today, it was just nice,” he said.
“The game plan [has] been pretty steady for me over the last year and a half in the sub continents … fortunately I could score some runs today.”
Khawaja also praised Handscomb’s defence, which he believes was key to his innings.
“Petey’s got a beautiful defence. I think that’s what people don’t realise … he gets out and reaches out and it makes the bowler change what they’re trying to do.
“He batted beautifully today.”
Khawaja said the Australian dressing room was unsure how the score would hold up, and said estimating par in Delhi was difficult.
“You think, ‘What’s a good score on this wicket?’, and you actually don’t know until the other team bats’.
“If we bowl well, 260 is really competitive.”
At the last Test between the two sides at the venue in 2013, India converted a 10-run first innings lead to win by six wickets.
Australia was bowled out for 262 early on day two. In reply, seven wickets to Nathan Lyon saw the hosts bowled out for 272, before restricting Australia to just 164 in the second innings.
Peter Siddle made 50s in both innings batting at No.10. Only Warner, Smith and Lyon remain from the Aussie side in that Test.
Khawaja said the pitch was already starting to play up. In the last over, a stock Lyon ball bamboozled Rohit Sharma when it barely bounced higher than his ankles after pitching on a length.
“It’s not easy out there, there’s a few cracks, a few plates moving even when we were out there,” Khawaja said.
“It’ll be interesting to see … I think tomorrow will tell the tale of where this game is going.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!